John Carter McKnight
Assistant Professor at Harrisburg University of Science and Technology, a young university dedicated to providing a well-rounded, interdisciplinary, STEM-focused education for underserved populations. Teach science and technology studies, software ethics, media and globalization. Oversee Fellowship projects in new media and ethics of emerging technologies. Research agenda in ethics of robotics, space travel.
John Carter McKnight is a 2013 PhD graduate of Arizona State University’s School for the Future of Innovation in Society. After completing postdoctoral research in the Department of Sociology, Lancaster University, UK, he became Assistant Professor, Sociology of New Media, at Harrisburg University of Science and Technology.
His work unites his academic training in the sociology of technology with a prior decade’s experience as an attorney specializing in financing high-technology companies. He teaches a broad range of courses about technology use, governance, and ethics, with a particular focus on teaching read/write literacy in new media, from messaging apps and games to virtual reality.
John has taught and guest lectured in the US, the UK, and Denmark, and presented papers at Oxford University, the European Parliament, San Diego Comic-Con, and an English pub. His publications include work on the ethics of social robots, governance issues in long-term spaceflight, and peer-to-peer personal finance systems. John has been an officer and director of STEM-related nonprofit organizations, including The Mars Society and the Space Frontier Foundation, was briefly CEO of a startup spacesuit design firm, and holds a NASA certification in planetary protection as well as a Red Cross certification in international humanitarian law.
He conducts research in two main areas:
- Online communities, platforms, and producers: he studies online community formation and management, examining the interplay of community culture, technological platforms, user interface/experience design, and user/producer interactions.
- Ethics and governance of emerging technologies: Much of his work examines the management and governance of innovation, with a particular interest in social robotics, space exploration, and alternative financial tools such as cryptocurrencies.
In addition to his PhD in Human & Social Dimensions of Science & Technology from Arizona State University, he hold a JD from the New York University School of Law, a Masters of International Affairs from Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs, and a BA (honors) in Political Science from the University of California, Santa Barbara.